Conferences publish call for submissions. You should answer that call and submit a presentation.
NOTE: This was originally written to promote a specific conference, I have amended it to be more generic.
But I don’t want to see you submit any old rubbish.
I want you to open up your soul, and make it impossible for me to say anything other than “yes” to you when you submit.
Make it so that the program committee want to vociferously campaign on your behalf to have you attend the conference, so that you can tell other people, about the experience that you will write about, in the proposal that you will submit.
How? As follows…
First the obvious, but important.
- Read the call for submissions, and the guidelines
- Register as someone who intends to submit
And then, the secret step: if you want me to back you tenaciously with every ounce of persuasive power that I have.
- I also want you to read the TED Commandments
If they seem daunting, then let me tell you another secret.
Most people will not do this.
Specifically, they will not talk from the heart about their experiences and lessons they learned
I will write some other posts on the topics of submitting and speaking at conferences because I know that the first few times seem daunting. But for the moment, because I want you to get started right away, since you have to submit by early February, I will say this to you… do not use any of the following excuses:
- “I don’t have anything to say”
- “No-one will be interested in what I have to say”
- “Nothing that I say will be original”
- “I can’t talk in public”
- “We don’t do anything interesting at work that I can talk about”
I spoke to a lot of people at EuroStar 2012 and asked them if they would submit at 2013 and I heard a lot of the above excuses.
And every single person, when I continued to talk to them, eventually told me a story about their work that I had not heard before. Every single person told me how they had approached a problem in a unique way, and they shared with me what they had learned, and what they would do differently next time, and every single one of them made me laugh.
I have seen a lot of conference talks that did none of the above. But every single person that I spoke to when they originally said that they had nothing to offer, and could not speak at a conference, managed to out-do a lot of conference talks that I have seen over the years.
I know you have something to offer. You just have to find it.
And let the theme help you.
The theme “Questioning Testing” lends itself to reinterpretation so start by reinterpreting the theme and then:
- Decide which re-interpretation resonates the most?
- What ideas does it inspire?
- What experiences does it remind you you have had?
- What lessons does it remind you you have learned?
- I don’t want to say too much here because I don’t want to influence you in how you can best interpret it.
One final point, because I want you to get started on your submission now.
I have read a few books on leadership written by ex-military personnel, because I think they know how to lead people. And not one of those books has ever talked to me about “Thought leadership” or “Big Ideas”, every single one of those books has said “lead from the front”, “lead by example”, and “learn from experience”.**
So when you submit, do that.